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PULLOUT: March at PENN 1998 Calendar

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February 24, 1998
Volume 44 Number 23

In Graduate Rankings, Penn Schools Moving Up

The annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of "America's Best Graduate Schools" in the March 2 issue of the newsmagazine (scheduled for distribution on February 23) shows the Wharton School holding at #3 and five other schools of the University moving upward.

In the sometimes widely disputed report,

  • Four of Penn's schools that were already in the top twenty moved upward: Nursing to 2nd (from 3rd in 1995, the last year Nursing was in the report); Medicine to 4th (from 7th last year); Law to 8th (from 11th); and Education to 11th (from 18th); and
  • Engineering moved from 33rd to 32nd

U.S. News does not rank all schools all years. Nor does it rank Arts and Sciences as a unit, but gives selected individual disciplines. Among the six departments of SAS that the magazine does rank, five at Penn made the top twenty:

  • Economics and Psychology both at 9th,
  • English at 11th, and
  • History and Sociology both at 12th.

All of the schools that were ranked, and some of the departments, were in ties with other institutions. For more on their relative placements, click here. Still further detail is on the U.S. News website at

Disputed Ratings: U.S. News, which has been ranking undergraduate schools since 1983, began ranking selected graduate programs in 1987. Numerous institutions have criticized the ratings--said by the magazine to be based on a combination of objective and reputational measurement. This year the Chronicle of Higher Education reports disagreement particularly by 92 law school deans--eight of the ten Ivies among them, including Penn's Dean Colin Diver--who sent a letter criticizing the rankings.

Medicine in U.S. News and Elsewhere: In a separate section where U.S. News reported on eight specialties in medicine- a reputational ranking by medical school deans and senior faculty--Penn departments were in the top ten in five of the eight fields: 4th in drugs/alcohol (tied with Harvard); 10th in geriatrics (in a four-way tie with UCSF, Chicago and Rochester); 6th in internal medicine; 3rd in pediatrics; and 4th in women's health.

In an unrelated story, PennMed received the 1988 National Quality Health Care Award given by a committee of that name in conjunction with the trade journal Modern Healthcare. It was singled out for high quality care, low costs and streamlined efficiencies, and cited as "an integrated system that demonstrates innovation and leadership in providing quality health care to its community."

And, by the objective measure of funds awarded by the National Institutes of Health, the School of Medicine ranked third in FY1997, according to data released by the NIH. At $175 million, its research and training grants are up 17.6% over FY1996's, making PennMed also the fastest-growing of the top ten schools. Second-place UC San Francisco's total for 1997 was $180,000, and Johns Hopkins was in first place with $210 million. Among nursing schools, Penn's ranks first (Almanac February 17).

Dean Preston Confirmed...

Dr. Beeman Named Deputy Dean

The appointment of Dr. Samuel Preston as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences was confirmed by the Trustees at Friday's Stated Meeting. The longtime Penn sociology professor, who has been the Frederick J. Warren Professor of Demography since 1988, took office January 1 (Almanac December 16/23, 1997). (See other Trustees coverage)

Deputy Dean: Earlier last week, Dean Preston made one further change in the core staffing of the Dean's Office that he announced in January (Almanac January 20): Dr. Richard R. Beeman, who became Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in December, now holds the title Deputy Dean of SAS. "While Rick's responsibilities as Dean of the College will remain essentially unchanged, this new title will better reflect the academic and organizational centrality of the College within the School and University," said Dean Preston. "This appointment is also made in recognition of Rick's long and outstanding service in the Dean's office and his extraordinary talents and energy."

Return to: Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, February 24, 1998, Volume 44, Number 23